The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, hailed the achievements of his administration since he assumed office in 2015.
Wike said boldly, while reflecting on the developments brought about by his government, that he has fulfilled the promises he made to support and enhance the judiciary system in the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor spoke about this on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at the 2022/23 Legal Year opening ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Naija News understands.
Wike further boasted that all promises his administration made concerning the judiciary had been fulfilled in impressive achievements beyond the imaginations of many.
He said: “On assumption of office in 2015, the state High Court had no Chief Judge, leadership, or direction for nearly two years. The governor then attempted to impose a Chief Judge on the state outside the due process. When this devious attempt was resisted, he instigated a phantom crisis and closed down the state courts until he left office.
“We knew that the ensuing social and economic anarchy would ruin Rivers State without functional courts to uphold and defend the rule of law. Beyond the crisis, we also inherited a judiciary neglected to the hilt, dilapidated and inadequate courthouses and unpaid salary arrears.”
Wike said his first assignment having noticed the situation, was to revive the judiciary and ensure the speedy administration of justice.
“Without wasting time, we appointed the first female Chief Judge for the state, reopened the courts and restored judicial services from our first day in office,” the G-5 governor said.
He further explained that his administration began rehabilitating the existing courthouses and built new ones for the state High Court and, within the first year in office, provided a new Special Utility Vehicle to judges as official cars, which have been replaced since 2019.
It Is Wrong To Let Judges Retire To Rented Apartments
Wike before his administration, judges in the state were faced with the challenge of lack of a retirement home. He said his government find it offensive to allow judges to retire to rented apartments after serving the state for years.
He said: “We then enacted the Judicial Officers Housing Scheme Law and took over responsibility of providing life-long residences for Rivers State judges, including those serving in federal jurisdictions
“We have since implemented this law by providing 4-bedroom duplexes with appurtenances, including security and regular electricity at the Chinwe Aguma judicial estate, to our judges. Similarly, those who opted not to reside in the estate were given an equivalent monetary value to build or buy similar houses.”
To further strengthen the judicial system, the governor said his administration was currently constructing a new ultra-modern magistrates’ court complex to relocate all the magistrates’ courts from the premises of the state High Court complex.